The Top 15 Wedding Abbreviations for Brides

As a soon-to-be bride new to the wedding industry hoopla, you may find yourself lost in a whirlwind of “wedding jargon” and struggling to understand! It’s one of my favorite aspects of planning because it’s like a completely different language that we planners and wedding vendors speak.

Here are 15 abbreviations that all brides should become familiar with:

 

AI                            All-inclusive

BM                         Bridesmaid/Best Man

GM                         Groomsmen

DW                         Destination Wedding

EP                           Engagement Party

DOC                       Day of Coordinator

FH                           Future Husband

FW                         Future Wife

FI                            Fiancé/Fiancée

FOB                        Father of the Bride

MOB                      Mother of the Bride

MOG                     Mother of the Groom

FOG                       Father of the Groom

MOH                     Maid/Matron of Honor

BP                           Bridal Party

Ease planning pains with our NEW services

Happy Summer everyone! AVPEvents is super excited to launch and share our new service menu with you all!

It’s taken us some time to re-create our services to give more options to brides with different needs. All 4 services are unique and are designed to cover various aspects of the planning process.

Short & Sweet

Just as the name suggests! One of the most daunting aspects of wedding planning is at the very end when you have the paper details to complete. So, we sit down for a 3-hour session and complete the day of timeline, reception timeline, ceremony layout and contact list. Once we’ve finalized this with you, we then email it out to all the vendors who need it and voila!

Smooth & Flawless

Should a wedding ceremony be anything less? Well our job for this package is to give you the “Short & Sweet” package and then coordinate the rehearsal of the ceremony run through twice! The day of the wedding, we show up an hour before the ceremony to check over last minute details, line up your processional, fluff your dress and send you off down the aisle.

Polished Production

This package comes with 6 additional hours of planning on-top of the benefits of both the Short & Sweet package as well as the Smooth & Flawless. We also finalize the details of the reception set up. Once the reception has been executed according to the timeline, our last task is to ensure your personal belongings are packed and ready to go!

Quintessential Package

Your equivalent of partial planning is this service! The previous 3 packages are included and in addition, couples receive 15 planning hours allocated to whatever areas they like!

Of course, we offer full planning for those couples who want assistance through every aspect of planning. A sit-down consultation is required for this service so each couples needs and vision can be properly assessed.

The Shocking Revelation in the bridal industry!

One subject amidst the bridal industry that I really feel people tiptoe around is that of lack of inclusion in wedding blogs and web/print publications. Maybe this isn’t something I am supposed to talk about but…here I am- and I’m not sorry.

It’s not to say there aren’t diverse publications that cater to multi-cultural audiences, it’s great but why separate publications? I grew up in a community where I was, for many years, the only bi-racial kid around and believe me when I tell you- it was hell. Different skin color, different body type, different hair, different facial features, plus a family of limited means. From public school, throughout high school it was just me and then I moved to Ottawa for university. It was then that I experienced being around people who looked like me, people I could relate too. I can’t describe to you the utter joy I felt living in a city where I didn’t feel like the literal “black sheep”.

When I first joined the wedding industry I made a point to get familiar with certain wedding publications and while I was enthralled (to say the least) with all the work that was showcased, yet I was shocked.

The stark reality is that there are publications that are for separate demographics and it can work…sort of. Of course, when you become a planner you must decide your niche market and how best to target them. But in doing so, it seems to create a distinct barrier.

I do realize I may be stirring the pot but here is the reality- I’ve had clients come up to me and tell me that have purchased certain magazines for inspiration but didn’t see themselves as any of the brides or models. They weren’t able to identify with what they were seeing and for them it was frustrating but that was their experience. So, I ask “Why don’t publications, magazines and blogs make a point to include a certain number of multi-ethnic shoots as features, editorials or submissions?”

But far beyond race, size and sexual orientation, recently the popular online blog Style Me Pretty pledged their dedication towards creating a space that focused on inclusion on their Instagram. While this was a huge step for them, some of the comments on their Instagram post even went to the point of highlighting other aspects of inclusion being overlooked still:

  • Special needs couples
  • Brides with natural hair/Afros
  • Budget friendly (pretty doesn’t have to be pricey)
  • Hiring people on their staff who understand diversity

Simply some food for thought.  In a society as liberal as ours it would be nice to see more inclusion in the larger magazines and blogs. If brides cannot see themselves in the dresses, with the flowers then it’s a huge missed opportunity and the message these real brides take away is this: the world’s beauty standard women have fought so hard against hasn’t changed in the bridal industry. On the bright side, it is my sincere hope to start seeing a wider range of  inclusion much sooner rather than later!

 

For advice, tools, tips and special offers click here

 

How to prepare for your wedding planning consult

It doesn’t take long after your acceptance of the proposal for you to realize there is piles of work to do! It can seem daunting but one of the wisest things you could consider doing is hiring a planner. If it’s not a full planning, day of coordination can take so much weight off your shoulders.

When you start your search for a planner here are some questions you need to be prepared to answer:

  1. “What is your wedding date?” Seems like it shouldn’t be a big deal if you don’t have that figured out just yet, but the reality is that planners live by schedules. So, in order for us to even know if we are available to help you- we need to know your wedding date!
  2. “What is your total wedding budget?” Having this discussion with your partner before you book a consultation is important. Most potential clients want to know how much planning costs, but we can’t give proper quotes for services unless we know what your max budget is.
  3. “How many guests do you plan to have?” This is another important question that helps planners determine their fee. To put into perspective: If you plan to have 300 guests, it’s common sense that a planner would then need an assistant. Paying an assistant will be factored into whatever quote is given.
  4. “Do you have a venue yet?” If you do then let us know, we have already done a wedding there and have connections we can utilize. On the flip side, if we haven’t done a wedding there, then a site visit will be necessary, so we can meet the coordinator and see the space.
  5. “What is your vision?” WHAT DO YOU SEE??! When you think of your wedding day, what do you envision it to be like? Rustic chic with pastels and copper accents? Modern minimalist with greenery and crisp white linens? When you know your “couple style” it makes it easier to create a “inspiration/mood” board. We need to see and feel what you do!
  6. “Are there any “absolutely no ways” for your wedding day?” Certain family members, colors, number of dresses…as planners coming up with ideas is part of the job, but we don’t want to come up with suggestions that are a no go on your list. So be clear about what you do not want…ever.
  7. “What service are you interested in?” This can be discussed at the consultation but to have a general idea is helpful for us. If you are a super busy couple, always on the go and worry about not having time- full planning might be the best option. If your wedding is a few months away and you’ve done a portion of the planning, then partial planning might work better. Day of coordination is for couples who want to undertake the planning aspects but have a planner manage the day of execution, so they can enjoy the day.
  8. “What do you want in a planner?” Not all planners will ask you this, but I will. Do you want someone who leaves most of the decision making up to you? Or is trusting someone to take charge and take the lead more what you want?

If you are prepared to answer these key questions, you will have a very productive first consult with your potential planner!

The Ultimate Guide to Sample Sales

A sample sale is not the same as a trunk show so let’s get that out of way! Trunk shows are special events where a bridal boutique will invite a designer (usually not located in the area) to show off their collection. It could be anywhere from a weekend or several days long. It’s a fantastic opportunity for brides to try on gowns from a visiting designer and appointments usually book up fast!

Samples sales however are first come, first serve for anyone who wants to get a designer dress at a large discount. The boutique allows you to try them on in the store and typically you don’t have a stylist who’s there assisting you. Sizes will range, and the dresses are usually well taken care of but you may not get something perfect since many women might be trying on the same dress. If it’s your first time trying on gowns it might not be a good idea to make a sample sale your first stop since you must decide to buy on the spot.

Tips

  1. Wear nude underwear…preferably a thong and a good strapless bra. You want to have as realistic idea as you can when you try each dress on.
  2. Know what your budget is. Usually the gowns will be organized by price range and this will help you stay within price range. Prices might be reduced from 20-80% but if you choose a newer style it may cost more.
  3. Bring a friend but not your entire crew. Too many opinions and different tastes will become overwhelming and won’t help you.
  4. Have an idea as to what style of dress you want. Keep in mind your body shape, areas you may or may not want to hide or accentuate. Knowing this in advance will help you sift through the dress styles you don’t want and save you time.
  5. Be sure to research the designer to make sure the styles they may offer will suit what you are looking for.
  6. Keep in mind that sample sale dresses can always be altered. Frays and lace can be trimmed and fixed up.
  7. Bring a pair of shoes as close to the height you plan to wear on your wedding day. Hems can be shortened not lengthened.
  8. Be aware of your timeline, while sample sale dresses are there and available, anything you may decide to order can take up to 8 months to be made and shipped
  9. Have cash ready, unlike regular wedding gowns where a deposit is made and the rest settled later- sample sale dresses are expected to be paid for up front.
  10. Have fun and be open to assorted styles of gowns. You may have your heart set on a certain style, but another might suit you just as well. I always say, never judge how a dress looks on the hanger, sometimes once you put it on it surprises you!

Ask your planner to keep an eye out on any sample sales in the area and to let you know so you can get prepped, primed and ready!

International bridal designers you may not know

In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month we wanted to take a few minutes to recognize some incredible women who design some of the most stunning gowns in the weddings industry. Women are accomplishing wonderful things around the world every day and these ladies contribute to one of happiest moments in someone’s life by creating masterpieces for them to wear on the day they get married.

Alessandra Rinaudo- Italy

In the workshop in Saluzzo, Alessandra Rinaudo, watched the work of her grandmother and mother. There, she learned to appreciate the quality of a French lace, to identify the best Italian silk, to capture the value of embroidery to exalt the beauty and originality of a dress. In expanding the company she has been able to satisfy a variegated target creating six lines with a defined character: Nicole, Alessandra Rinaudo, Colet, Jolie, Romance, Aurora.

Lesia Gown Lilith Labella

Anna Campbell- Australia

From humble beginnings in Melbourne, Australia Anna Campbell‘s natural love for design, romance and all things that sparkle inspired the dream that is Anna Campbell. Inspired by the romantic decadence of times gone by, yet influenced by the relaxed, carefree elegance of modern weddings. From the beautiful collection of dresses that Anna designs each year, every incredible silk gown is completely customizable and unique to each bride.

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Celestina Agostino- Paris

At age 30, Celestina Agostina returned to her initial passion which was fashion, sewing and creating beautiful wedding dresses for women. Learning her skills from a costume designer, Celestina Agostino went onto open her own couture house in Paris in 1993. her intuitive approach to design, that starts with an interview so that Celestina can get to know her client inside-out and create a gown that matches her personality and her personal world. Grounded in design expertise, her instinctive methods have paid off with an international clientele whether they want to look like a Jane Austen heroine, a Hollywood icon or a natural, boho bride.

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Ersa Atlier- Romania

Two sisters, Gabriela and Cristina Antonescu graduate The National school of Fine Arts in Bucharest, Romania. They meet Doina Levința, the most famous Romanian designer and scenographer.  After spending more than 7 years in apprenticeship, they opened their own atelier in Bucharest, Romania. Soon after they start showcasing their craftsmanship and creativity internationally. In 2013, Ersa styles take America by storm, during the 4th Annual Bridal Show in Chicago.

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Celia Kritharioti- Greece

Designer Celia Kritharioti is a globally distinguished designer and owner of the oldest Greek fashion house, which was established in Athens in 1906. Her talent, vision and aesthetics reflect on all her creations. Her mission is to present the best image possible of every woman who chooses Celia Kritharioti creation.  Celia had the honor of designing the costumes for the Greek National Opera productions of “Romeo and Juliet” and “Swanlake” She presented her first ever show in Paris during Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture on January 25th 2017.

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Black History: Wedding Traditions

In line with the celebration of culture, uniqueness and love, we decided to share some of the wedding traditions in the African American culture that are still celebrated today. Most of these are still practiced today but couples have the ability to put their own personal touch on some of them to make it more special on their big day!

Kola Nuts

Used for it’s medicinal and healing properties, this nut is important to West African weddings since it represents the families and couples willingness to heal. In some African countries this nut is shared amongst the couple and their family and that is what completes the ceremony.

Tying the Knot

A common phrase we use today when referring to a couple getting married but in African culture- it’s literally tying a knot! Some African tribes have a close friend, family member or officiant ties braided grass or piece of material around the wrists of the couple. This then symbolizes their unity and commitment to one another.

Jumping the Broom

A widely known African wedding tradition that originated in the days of slavery when slaves were forbidden to marry or live together. The broom represented all past problems that have been swept away and jumping over it symbolized publicly and formally their marital union. Today, these brooms are beautifully decorated and often displayed in the home!

Broom

 

Crossing Sticks

Not as well known as jumping the broom is the crossing of tall sticks between the couple. This wedding tradition also dates back as early as the slavery era. Representing the life force as well as power within the trees, when they are crossed the couple conveys their hopes for a formidable and grounded beginning.

Money Spray

Popular on the West coast of Africa but not limited to a few other cultures, the money spray is the tradition of tossing money at the bride while she dances. This is gift from the guests that help the new couple get their lives started….make it rain! (Couldn’t help it…)

Money spray

Tasting the 4 Elements

This is a ritual that originated in Yoruba that has the couple taste 4 flavors that symbolize 4 emotions in their marriage, typically bitter, hot, sour and sweet. These flavors emulate the good and the bad that may accompany marriage but ending in sweet if you endure the others.

Knock, knock

In Ghana, the groom comes bearing gifts and knocks at the door of his soon-to-be in laws since much emphasis is put on “permissions” or getting the “blessings” of the families that are being joined. If his knock is accepted, the celebration and planning for both family begins!

Elegant Wedding Magazine: Berry Bombshell Style Shoot

I was so excited to be offered a style shoot in the 2018 Winter/Spring issue of Elegant Wedding Magazine. Of course, with something this exciting- everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. Everything up until and even the day of the shoot- everything went wrong.

Incredibly and thankfully I survived and so did the shoot. I had an incredible team and they pulled through for me and put so much talent and work into making it what it is-amazing!

Flavor and Flair was the magazine theme so I chose to work with a bold, very rich color scheme consisting of deep plum, mulberry, cotton candy pink, chartreuse and gold. I was hoping to create a very “regal” feel to the shoot and everything down to the gowns and jewelry reflected drama and majesty.

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Planning & Concept Creator// Ashley Victoria Productions|Photography// MPSG Weddings| Dresses// Mona Lisa Bridal Gallery//Naama & Anat|Rentals// Event Rental Group| Props// Glamourous Affairs| Hair & Make Up// Blushing Beauty Inc|Cake//Fruitilicious Cakes|Suiting & Shoes// 4 Men United| Florals// Dream Creations|Jewelry & Crown// The Loved One| Stationary// Polkadot Paper Shop| Sweets & Hand Painted BonBons// Succulent Chocolates| Venue// The Great Hall

 

Adios 2017!

2017 is coming to a close and if I might say…good riddance! We want to share some of our biggest highlights from this year!

Cody and HindShe Said Yes!

So as with most of us girl squads, mine has a Whatsapp chat called “Le Crew”. This picture message in our chat pops up after midnight on NYE Dec 31st 2016 from our bestie in Ottawa and her giant sparkling ring…announcing her amazing beau of 5 years popped the question! These two gorgeous specimens had their engagement party in October of 2017- Next stop…Dubai 2019 wedding!

 

Updated Website

I was so thrilled that I was able to sit down with my graphic designer and make the changes I wanted. I needed a different way to showcase some of my work rather than a boring gallery.  I wanted to tell a story and make it distinctive to each couple. We added in an “as seen” section that notes all the publications we’ve been in as well as updated our available services.

Check it out!

Personal

So I moved…again. (Sigh…) Not one of the more enjoyable things I had to do this year but it had to be done. I was previously tucked away in between York Mills and Sheppard on the Yonge line and as of October this year, I am right back down in the mouth of the beast- Yonge and Bloor. The noise, smells and wind tunnels are more than enough for me to wish I was back where I was. Our place is cute and homey but the downtown insanity is exhausting to look at let alone live in. Oh well…here’s to Starbucks meetings and shopping in Yorkville?

Prince Charming proposes

Britain Royal EngagementBy Prince we mean Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (the amazing Rachel Zane from Suits) got engaged and are to marry on May 19th 2018 at Windsor Castle…I can’t WAIT to see who designs her dress! Nothing like a Royal wedding to get us excited for a new year right? For more details see my previous blog post!

Style Shoot

elegant-wedding-toronto-winter-spring-2018-cover-w800-h2000-w800-h2000Oh Elegant Wedding Magazine family, how I love you all! Some of the most hard working, talented and incredible vendors contributed to the styled shoot for the Winter/Spring 2018 issue that JUST hit the stands on December 18th 2017! Soooo go grab a copy and stay tuned for my next post that will give all the details of the shoot! Don’t forget to follow us on instagram: @avpevents

 

A Royal Engagement: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to wed Spring 2018

Royals 2Another royal wedding will soon be upon us this coming Spring 2018 and we are SO excited! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got engaged earlier this month and made their first debut today and they were both just gushing-adorbs!

Not sure what this will mean exactly for her acting career (since I’m obsessed with Suits and may suffer a breakdown if she leaves the show) but none the less we couldn’t be happier for the soon to be bride of His Royal Highness Prince Harry.

The ring
Photo: AFP or Licensors

The Ring:

As a beautiful tribute to his mother the late Princess Diana of Wales, Harry had the ring designed with the two outside stones from his mother’s personal collection.  The larger centerpiece is a beautiful (and rather large) diamond from Botswana, sentimental to the couple as they spent much time there together. All three stones are colorless and finally Cleave and Company created the lovely gold band.

 

We can expect the Royal wedding to take place at St. Georges Chapel, Windsor Castle in May 2018. Meghan will be baptized and confirmed into the Church of England and will likely become a British citizen.

Meghan’s on-screen father in Suits, Wendell Pierce, took to his Twitter, congratulating the newly engaged couple and gave his approval “Harry, you have her TV Father’s blessing. Robert Zane approves.” So do we!

Sourced from https://www.theguardian.com

Images: Getty Images; AFP or Licensors; US Magazine